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  • lonesome_polecatt lonesome_polecatt Jul 19, 2013 11:38 AM Flag

    Harvard is hardly a bastion of RW thinking so here is Harvard's take on global warming. An article from REAL scientists.

    HARVARD GAZETTE ARCHIVES

    Global warming is not so hot:

    1003 was worse, researchers find

    By William J. Cromie
    Gazette Staff

    The heat and droughts of 2001 and 2002, and the unending winter of 2002-2003 in the Northeast have people wondering what on Earth is happening to the weather. Is there anything natural about such variability?

    To answer that question, researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) - right in the heart of New England's bad weather - took a look at how things have changed in the past 1,000 years. They looked at studies of changes in glaciers, corals, stalagmites, and fossils. They checked investigations of cores drilled out of ice caps and sediments lying on the bottom of lakes, rivers, and seas. They examined research on pollen, tree rings, tree lines, and junk left over from old cultures and colonies. Their conclusion: We are not living either in the warmest years of the past millennium nor in a time with the most extreme weather.

    Sallie Baliunas
    Sallie Baliunas argues that an increasing brightness of the sun plays a large role in the present global warm-up. (Staff photo by Jon Chase)

    This review of changes in nature and culture during the past 1,000 years was published in the April 11 issue of the Journal of Energy and Environment. It puts subjective observations of climate change on a much firmer objective foundation. For example, tree-ring data show that temperatures were warmer than now in many far northern regions from 950 to 1100 A.D.

    From 800 to 1300 A.D., the Medieval Warm Period, many parts of the world were warmer than they have been in recent decades. But temperatures now (including last winter) are generally much milder than they were from 1300 to 1900, the Little Ice Age.

    To come to this coclusion, CfA researchers, along with colleagues from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change in Tempe, Ariz., and the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware, reviewed more than 200 studies of climate done over the past 10 years. "Many research advances in reconstructing ancient climate have occurred over the past two decades, so we felt it was time to pull together a large sample of them and look for patterns of variability and change," says Willie Soon of CfA. "Clear patterns did emerge showing that regions worldwide experienced higher temperatures from 800 to 1300 and lower temperatures from 1300 to 1900 than we have felt during our lifetimes."

    Nature still rules

    Does this mean that the present global warming is more a product of natural changes than of carbon dioxide emissions and other industrial regurgitations? Soon won't go that far. But he does say "there's increasingly strong evidence that previous research conclusions, including those of the United Nations and the United States government concerning 20th century warming, may have been biased by underestimation of natural climate variations. The bottom line is that if these variations are indeed proven true, then, yes, natural climate fluctuations could be a dominant factor in the recent warming. [The year 1998 was the warmest year on record, followed by 2002, then 2001.] In other words, natural factors could be more important than previously assumed."

    Willie Soon
    Willie Soon describes changes in Earth's climate during the past 1,000 years, shifts that caused The Little Ice Age recently and a global warming in medieval times. (Staff photo by Jon Chase)

    Soon and colleagues believe their findings will contribute to computer models that simulate natural and human influences on climate more accurately. That should lead to better climate forecasts, including those on local and regional levels. Such forecasts, in turn, could help make it easier to reach international agreements on treaties to control emissions of industrial gases that contribute to global warming. One reason the administration of President Bush gives for not signing the international 1997 Kyoto Protocol to limit carbon dioxide emissions is that sufficient scientific information about the cause of global warming is lacking.

    Vikings enjoy Greenland beaches

    Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists for warmer times and decades of more frigid and extreme weather than we are now experiencing.

    Extended television and government forecasts didn't exist during the 16th to 18th centuries, but many Flemish and Dutch artists, like Pieter Brueghel and Hendrick Avercamp, depicted severe Little Ice Age winters in their paintings.

    CfA's Sallie Baliunas, a co-author of the study, refers to the medieval Viking sagas as examples of unusual warming around 1003 A.D. "The Vikings established colonies in Greenland at the beginning of the second millennium, but they died out several hundred years later when the climate turned colder," she notes. "And good evidence exists that vineyards flourished in Scotland and England during the medieval warmth."

    The evidence also shows that the warmer and colder times occurred not just in Europe, but in places all over the world. Entered into computer simulations that can send us backward and forward hundreds of years in a matter of days, the new information should make forecasts and hindcasts of climate much more accurate.

    Sentiment: Buy

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    • IF YOU’RE YOUNGER THAN 28, YOU’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED A MONTH OF BELOW AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE

      By Lily Kuo

      If you were born after February 1985, you’ve never lived through a month of below average global temperatures. According to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, IN JUNE THE EARTH’S SURFACE WAS WARMER THAN THE 20TH CENTURY AVERAGE FOR THE MONTH FOR THE 340TH TIME IN A ROW. IT WAS THE FIFTH HOTTEST JUNE SINCE 1918, NOAA SAID. (AN ANALYSIS FROM NASA SAYS THE MONTH WAS THE SECOND HOTTEST SINCE 1880.)

      An entire generation has grown up during this streak of hot weather, which Philip Bump, who now writes for the Atlantic Wire, pointed out in the online environmental magazine Grist last year. The last time the global average of land and ocean temperatures was below long-term levels was in February 1985. The United Nations reported earlier in July that MORE COUNTRIES HAVE SEEN RECORD-BREAKING TEMPERATURES IN THE FIRST DECADE OF THIS CENTURY THAN EVER BEFORE. THIS MONTH, NORTHERN CANADA, NORTHWESTERN RUSSIA, SOUTHERN JAPAN, THE PHILIPPINES, SOUTHWESTERN CHINA, AND CENTRAL-SOUTHERN AFRICA ALL SAW UNPRECEDENTED TEMPERATURES FOR THE MONTH, ACCORDING TO NOAA.

      Still, it wasn’t hot everywhere. Spain saw its coolest June sine 1997. Temperatures in the UK were also lower, about 0.2 degrees celsius (0.4 degrees fahrenheit) below than the long-term average for the month. (A slew of retailers, including spanish clothing company Inditex, said rainy and cool summer weather in Europe was to blame for slower sales for the quarter.)

      We’ve already seen some of the effects of a warmer world. Since the early 20th century, the average world temperature has risen by about 0.8 degrees celsius, or 1.4 degrees fahrenheit. Researchers have recorded higher rates of hospitalization and crime. Thanks to melting ice caps in the Arctic, shipping has quadrupled just in the the last year. And last year, warmer temperatures and higher sea levels arguably turned a hurricane that hit the eastern US into a “frankenstorm.”

      The United Nations has warned that the average temperature could increase by 4 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100, which some researchers say will wreak further havoc, causing extreme temperatures, lower crop yields, damage to ocean ecosystems and human health risks.

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

    • ARCTIC ICE GROWS DARKER AND LESS REFLECTIVE

      August 2013 by Fred Pearce | New Scientist

      ARCTIC ICE IS LOSING ITS REFLECTIVE SHEEN. IT'S COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT EACH SUMMER, MORE AND MORE OF THE ICE MELTS LEAVING THE DARK WATERS OF THE OCEAN UNCOVERED – A PROCESS THAT ACCELERATES GLOBAL WARMING BY REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF SOLAR RADIATION REFLECTED BACK INTO SPACE. NOW IT TURNS OUT THAT THE SURVIVING SEA ICE IS ALSO BECOMING DARKER AND LESS REFLECTIVE.

      For the first time, a detailed analysis of 30 years of satellite data for the Arctic Ocean has quantified how much the albedo, or reflectivity, of Arctic ice is diminishing. Aku Riihela of the Finnish Meteorological Institute told New Scientist he estimates that darker ice means the Arctic Ocean's albedo at the end of the summer is of the order of 15 per cent weaker today than it was 30 years ago.

      THE CAUSE OF THE DARKENING, SAYS RIIHELA, IS PARTLY DUE TO THINNING ICE AND THE FORMATION OF OPEN WATER FISSURES, AND PARTLY BECAUSE IN THE WARMER AIR, PONDS OF LIQUID WATER FORM ON THE SURFACE OF THE ICE. THE SHALLOW PONDS ON THE ICE CAN DRAMATICALLY REDUCE REFLECTIVITY AND INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF SOLAR RADIATION THAT THE ICE ABSORBS. "This shows that the increasing melt affects the inner Arctic sea ice, too," said Riihela.

      Earlier this year, Marcel Nicolaus of the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, reported a trans-polar study aboard a German icebreaker, which found that "MORE THAN 50 PER CENT OF THE ICE COVER NOW CONSISTS OF THIN ONE-YEAR ICE ON WHICH THE MELTWATER IS PARTICULARLY WIDESPREAD".

      THE MELTING AND DARKENING OF THE ARCTIC IS A MAJOR FACTOR IN CLIMATE CHANGE. IT ACTS AS A POSITIVE FEEDBACK, BECAUSE THE MORE ICE MELTS OR DARKENS, THE MORE THE ARCTIC WARMS AND THE MORE ICE MELTS.

      IT MAY HELP EXPLAIN THE SPEED OF ARCTIC ICE LOSS, WHICH FAR EXCEEDS THE PREDICTIONS OF EXISTING CLIMATE MODELS, including those used in the 2007 climate assessment of the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change.

      At the end of summer 2012, Arctic sea ice extent hit a record low. Some recent predictions suggest the Arctic Ocean could have no ice left at the end of each summer by 2030.

      The authors of the new paper have not yet calculated the effect of their findings on those predictions. But they can only hasten the day when the Arctic is ice-free in summer.

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • 2 Replies to elk_1l
      • elk, the same cabal that aggregates wealth and power via polluting industries, which society is dependent upon, stand to aggregates more wealth, power and control via this scheme. You've bought a front row seat and keep calling in the story, but fail to see the truth.

        CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but it is also an essential gas for plant growth and ozone creation. It is a small part of what shapes the Earth's climate...Which is affected by more than just the sun...There's also cosmic rays! The earth's magnetosphere sucks up these energies like a vacuum and in confined collisions energy becomes matter (not nearly enough room to explain here) and the earth slowly grows.

        Most people would find this surprising, but the earth itself is generating a considerable amount of heat. If anyone doubts it I suggest spelunking in a volcano sometime.

        Certainly some people will find it folly to think that volcanic ridges, which span and create the ocean floors, might actually have an effect upon ocean temperatures, thermal expansion of the waters, evaporation rates and currents... and only a dumb-dumb would think these things would have any effect upon weather systems.

        True genius lies in the ability to cut-n-paste propaganda instead of wasting time trying to actually think.

      • Ya know,, I'm by far no expert on this stuff, but, did the earth not shift it's axis a little a couple of years back,, and is the sun not having a bunch of solar activity in the last few years as well,, all of which can have effect on the climate and weather,, now, I still think we add to all of this with pollution,, but, we are not the only country on this planet and we cannot go this alone and make unreasonable measures to curb the pollution,, specifically, coal,,
        C

        Sentiment: Hold

    • UN CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT DRAFT WARNS OF 3 FOOT SEA LEVEL RISE BY 2100

      The Huffington Post | By James Gerken | 08/19/2013

      A leaked draft of the U.N.'s next major climate change report warns that global sea levels could rise more than three feet by the end of the century if greenhouse emissions continue unbated, The New York Times reported Monday.

      The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) REPORT IS ALSO MORE CONFIDENT THAT HUMAN ACTIVITIES, LIKE THE BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS, ARE THE CHIEF CAUSE OF THE ATMOSPHERIC WARMING SEEN SINCE THE 1950S. THE REPORT'S AUTHORS SAY IT IS AT LEAST 95 PERCENT LIKELY THAT HUMANS ARE BEHIND THIS WARMING, ACCORDING TO AN INITIAL REPORT FROM REUTERS LAST FRIDAY.

      THIS CONFIDENCE IS REFLECTED IN THE REPORT'S LANGUAGE. IT'S "EXTREMELY LIKELY" THAT HUMANS CAUSED "MORE THAN HALF OF THE OBSERVED INCREASE IN GLOBAL AVERAGE SURFACE TEMPERATURE FROM 1951 TO 2010," THE TIMES QUOTES FROM THE U.N. REPORT.

      The study outlines several several sea level rise scenarios for the end of the century, based on efforts to limit emissions in the coming decades. The most optimistic emissions reductions could bring only a 10-inch rise, explains the Times, on top of the eight inches seen in the last century. If emissions continue at a runaway pace, sea levels could rise "at least 21 inches by 2100 and might rise a bit more than three feet."

      THE NATIONAL ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC ADMINISTRATION'S 2012 STATE OF THE CLIMATE REPORT, RELEASED EARLIER THIS MONTH, SHOWED GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS REACHED A NEW RECORD HIGH IN 2011, AND ESTIMATES SUGGEST THE RECORD WAS BROKEN AGAIN IN 2012.

      "Its good to see that the IPCC has moved in the right direction this time by at least trying to account for the key contribution to sea level rise from melting ice sheets," director of Pennsylvania State University's Earth System Science Center Michael Mann told The Huffington Post in an emailed statement, explaining that it was ignored in the previous IPCC report from 2007.

      "However, THE PROJECTIONS THEY PROVIDE ARE STILL OVERLY CONSERVATIVE, WITH AN UPPER LIMIT OF ROUGHLY ONE METER BY 2100, WHEN THERE IS PUBLISHED WORK THAT SUGGESTS THAT POSSIBILITY OF AS MUCH AS TWO METERS (SIX FEET) SEA LEVEL RISE BY 2100," he added.

      "This fits a pattern of the IPCC tending to err on the side of conservative, in part--I believe---because of fear of being attacked by the climate change denial machine."

      Describing the IPCC's projections, Climate Progress' Joe Romm wrote on Sunday, "Like every IPCC report, it is an instantly out-of-date snapshot that lowballs future warming because it continues to ignore large parts of the recent literature and omit what it can’t model."

      A RECENT STUDY PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNAL NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE SHOWS THAT WITH ONLY 15.75 INCHES OF SEA LEVEL RISE BY MID-CENTURY, LOSSES DUE TO FLOODING IN 136 OF THE WORLD'S COASTAL CITIES MAY APPROACH $1 TRILLION, REPORTED CLIMATE CENTRAL.

      IPCC spokesman Jonathan Lynn cautioned against drawing too many conclusions from the leaked drafts, but told the BBC on Monday, "We are not trying to keep it secret." He said, "After the report is finished we are going to publish all the comments and response so that people can track the process."

      Reuters' breakdown of the IPCC draft also draws attention to the apparent slowdown in warming observed since 1998, despite rising greenhouse gas emissions. Romm contends the slowdown "turns out to be only true if one looks narrowly at surface air temperatures, where only a small fraction of warming ends up."

      The Times emphasizes the international scientific panel's further confidence in the future effects of unchecked emissions and notes, the experts "largely dismiss a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate change contrarians, as probably related to short-term factors.

      The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report is set to be released in four parts between September 2013 and November 2014.

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • 2 Replies to elk_1l
      • Won't affect me; I live at 8,100 feet above sea level.

      • Yes, indeed, the UN has been so, so scientifically accurate for the past 15 years or so. The FACTS are about to drop outside the lower limits of their climate change model's projection of average surface temperature of the earth. Got that? The LOWER edge of the range for the past 10 years. So much for models. It's really amazing how reality trumps models.

        The reality is that humanity has almost zero impact on the climate, it is all about the sun, etc. The people saying man is responsible are of the same ilk as those who denied the world was round, who claimed the earth was the center of the solar system, that helicobacter pylori is not the cause of 95% of all ulcers (too much acid is, they claimed, for decades while the Aussie scientists proved otherwise). Better get Plimer's book "Heaven and Earth" so you can educate yourselves on the science, not the PC Gore-type hype to try to control people. That's the real agenda. Control of people and governments.

        BD

    • 2012 CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT FROM NOAA REVEALS RISING SEAS, SNOW MELT AND MORE WARMING

      By SETH BORENSTEIN 08/06/13 AP

      WASHINGTON -- A NEW MASSIVE FEDERAL STUDY SAYS THE WORLD IN 2012 SWELTERED WITH CONTINUED SIGNS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. RISING SEA LEVELS, SNOW MELT, HEAT BUILDUP IN THE OCEANS, AND MELTING ARCTIC SEA ICE AND GREENLAND ICE SHEETS, ALL BROKE OR NEARLY BROKE RECORDS, BUT TEMPERATURES ONLY SNEAKED INTO THE TOP 10.

      The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday issued A PEER-REVIEWED 260-PAGE REPORT, WHICH AGENCY CHIEF KATHRYN SULLIVAN CALLS ITS ANNUAL "CHECKING ON THE PULSE OF THE PLANET." THE REPORT, WRITTEN BY 384 SCIENTISTS AROUND THE WORLD, COMPILES DATA ALREADY RELEASED, BUT IT PUTS THEM IN CONTEXT OF WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING TO EARTH OVER DECADES.

      "It's critically important to compile a big picture," National Climatic Data Center director Tom Karl says. "The signs that we see are of a warming world."

      SULLIVAN SAYS WHAT IS NOTICEABLE "ARE REMARKABLE CHANGES IN KEY CLIMATE INDICATORS," MENTIONING DRAMATIC SPIKES IN OCEAN HEAT CONTENT, A RECORD MELT OF ARCTIC SEA ICE IN THE SUMMER, AND WHOPPING TEMPORARY MELTS OF ICE IN MOST OF GREENLAND LAST YEAR. THE DATA ALSO SHOWS A RECORD-HIGH SEA LEVEL.

      THE MOST NOTICEABLE AND STARTLING CHANGES SEEN WERE IN THE ARCTIC, SAYS REPORT CO-EDITOR DEKE ARNDT, CLIMATE MONITORING CHIEF AT THE DATA CENTER. BREAKING RECORDS IN THE ARCTIC IS SO COMMON THAT IT IS BECOMING THE NEW NORMAL, says study co-author Jackie Richter-Menge of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H.

      Karl says when looked at together, all the indicators show a climate that is changing over the decades. Individually, however, the story isn't as simple.

      Karl says surface temperatures haven't risen in the last 10 years, but he notes that is only a blip in time due to natural variability. When looking at more scientifically meaningful time frames of 30 years, 50 years and more than 100 years, temperatures are rising quite a bit, Karl said. Since records have been kept in 1880, all 10 of the warmest years ever have been in the past 15 years, NOAA records show.

      Depending on which of four independent analyses are used, 2012 ranked the eighth or ninth warmest year on record, the report says. Last year was warmer than every year in the previous century, except for 1998 when a record El Nino spiked temperatures globally. NOAA ranks 2010 as the warmest year on record.

      They don't have to be records every year, Karl says.

      OVERALL THE CLIMATE INDICATORS "ARE ALL SINGING THE SAME SONG THAT WE LIVE IN A WARMING WORLD," ARNDT SAYS. "SOME INDICATORS TAKE A FEW YEARS OFF FROM THEIR INCREASE. THE SYSTEM IS TELLING US IN MORE THAN ONE PLACE WE'RE SEEING RAPID CHANGE."

      While the report purposely doesn't address why the world is warming, "the causes are primarily greenhouse gases, the burning of fossil fuels," Arndt says.

      The study is being published in a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • 1 Reply to elk_1l
      • Absolutely RIGHT, Elk. All those things are happening. The argument is: Does MAN cause or contribute heavily to this change or not. I say not and I can cite much proof going back thousands of years when the earth was warmer, considerably warmer, than it is now. Farming in Greenland and Iceland. Ice cores prove this. MAN was NOT contributing greatly to that change and is not now to this one. It is climate change but is not man-made. It is "nature", including celestial nature, that is causing this change.

        What terrifies man is that CHANGE is happening over which they have zero control but want to think they have, so are constructing this fantasy that our industrial processes are largely to blame and that is the worst thing that can happen to man. We really don't like change hardly at all. But, change is the nature of life and those who embrace it, and see the opportunities in that change are the ones who will thrive and get rich.

        Who saw the personal computer?? Who saw Google?? Who saw Facebook?? Who saw the internet (Berners-Lee, not Gore) and its potential?? Who saw Amazon?? Who saw artificial hips, elbows, knees, polio vaccines, etc., etc., that has made life enormously better. Enormous change in just one lifetime. When I was growing up and wanted to make a phone call, I lifted the receiver and heard "Number, please" from the operator at some large switchboard in town. Now we communicate instantly all over the world with some fabulous gadget in our hand or via this computer and chat board. Who woulda thunk it in 1955 when I was 18? Dumbesillah!! That was science fiction. NOBODY even thought what we take for granted today.

        Do some study. Don't drink the climate change koolaid that says MAN is the culprit. Just because a lot of people say it is true doesn't make it true. THINK FOR YOURSELF.

        BD

    • HUMAN ACTIVITY IS THE CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING,
      SCIENTISTS NOW SURER THAN EVER

      By Countercurrentsorg | 17 August, 2013

      Human activity is causing global warming. Now, climate scientists are surer than ever. Leaked drafts of a major UN report show this.

      However, scientists are finding it harder than expected to predict the impact in specific regions in coming decades.

      REUTERS REPORTED THAT DRAFTS BY THE UN PANEL OF EXPERTS, DUE TO BE PUBLISHED NEXT MONTH, SAY IT IS AT LEAST 95 PERCENT LIKELY THAT HUMAN ACTIVITIES – CHIEFLY THE BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS – ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF WARMING SINCE THE 1950S. THIS WAS UP FROM AT LEAST 90 PERCENT IN THE LAST REPORT IN 2007, 66 PERCENT IN 2001, AND OVER 50 IN 1995.

      THE SCIENTISTS ARE STEADILY SQUEEZING OUT THE ARGUMENTS BY A SMALL MINORITY OF SCIENTISTS THAT NATURAL VARIATIONS IN THE CLIMATE MIGHT BE TO BLAME.

      THAT SHIFTS THE DEBATE ONTO THE EXTENT OF TEMPERATURE RISES AND THE LIKELY IMPACTS, FROM MANAGEABLE TO CATASTROPHIC.

      “WE HAVE GOT QUITE A BIT MORE CERTAIN THAT CLIMATE CHANGE … IS LARGELY MANMADE,” SAID RETO KNUTTI, A PROFESSOR AT THE SWISS FEDERAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IN ZURICH. “WE’RE LESS CERTAIN THAN MANY WOULD HOPE ABOUT THE LOCAL IMPACTS.”

      And gauging how warming would affect nature, from crops to fish stocks, was also proving hard since it goes far beyond physics. “You can’t write an equation for a tree,” he said.

      The IPCC report, the first of three to be released in 2013 and 2014, will face intense scrutiny, particularly after the panel admitted a mistake in the 2007 study which wrongly predicted that all Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

      Experts say the error far overestimated the melt and might have been based on a misreading of 2350.

      The new study will state with greater confidence than in 2007 that rising manmade GHG emissions have already meant more heatwaves.

      But it is likely to play down some tentative findings from 2007, such as that human activities have contributed to more droughts.

      THE REPORT WILL FLAG A HIGH RISK THAT GLOBAL TEMPERATURES WILL INCREASE THIS CENTURY BY MORE THAN THAT LEVEL, AND WILL SAY THAT EVIDENCE OF RISING SEA LEVELS IS NOW “UNEQUIVOCAL”.

      The scientists say IT IS PROVING HARDER TO PINPOINT LOCAL IMPACTS in coming decades in a way that would help planners.

      Drew Shindell, a NASA climate scientist, said the relative lack of progress in regional predictions was the main disappointment of climate science since 2007.

      The panel will try to explain why global temperatures, while still increasing, have risen more slowly since about 1998 even though greenhouse gas concentrations have hit repeated record highs in that time, led by industrial emissions by China and other emerging nations.

      An IPCC draft says there is “medium confidence” that the slowing of the rise is “due in roughly equal measure” to natural variations in the weather and to other factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface.

      Scientists believe causes could include: greater-than-expected quantities of ash from volcanoes, which dims sunlight; a decline in heat from the sun during a current 11-year solar cycle; more heat being absorbed by the deep oceans; or the possibility that the climate may be less sensitive than expected to a build-up of carbon dioxide.

      “It might be down to minor contributions that all add up,” said Gabriele Hegerl, a professor at Edinburgh University. Or maybe, scientists say, the latest decade is just a blip.

      The main scenarios in the draft, using more complex computer models than in 2007 and taking account of more factors, show that temperatures could rise anywhere from a fraction of 1 degree Celsius to almost 5C this century, a wider range at both ends than in 2007.

      The low end, however, is because the IPCC has added what diplomats say is an improbable scenario for radical government action – not considered in 2007 – that would require cuts in global greenhouse gases to zero by about 2070.

      Temperatures have already risen by 0.8C since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

      Experts say that the big advance in the report, due for a final edit by governments and scientists in Stockholm from Sept. 23-26, is simply greater confidence about the science of global warming, rather than revolutionary new findings.

      “OVERALL OUR UNDERSTANDING HAS STRENGTHENED,” SAID MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER, A PROFESSOR AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, POINTING TO AREAS INCLUDING SEA LEVEL RISE.

      AN IPCC DRAFT PROJECTS SEAS WILL RISE BY BETWEEN 29 AND 82 CM BY THE LATE 21ST CENTURY – ABOVE THE ESTIMATES OF 18 TO 59 CM IN THE LAST REPORT, WHICH DID NOT FULLY ACCOUNT FOR CHANGES IN ANTARCTICA AND GREENLAND.

      THE REPORT SLIGHTLY TONES DOWN PAST TENTATIVE FINDINGS THAT MORE INTENSE TROPICAL CYCLONE ARE LINKED TO HUMAN ACTIVITIES.

      WARMER AIR CAN CONTAIN MORE MOISTURE, HOWEVER, MAKING DOWNPOURS MORE LIKELY IN FUTURE.

      “THERE IS WIDESPREAD AGREEMENT AMONG HURRICANE SCIENTISTS THAT RAINFALL ASSOCIATED WITH HURRICANES WILL INCREASE NOTICEABLY WITH GLOBAL WARMING,” SAID KERRY EMANUEL, OF THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY.

      “BUT MEASURING RAINFALL IS VERY TRICKY,” he said

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

    • lonesome -

      The conclusion: 'We are not living either in the warmest years of the past millennium nor in a time with the most extreme weather' does not answer the question of whether 'global warming' presently is or is not, or, if 'global warming' is, whether which direction it is trending.

      Cheers,

    • KOCH PLEDGE TIED TO CONGRESSIONAL CLIMATE INACTION

      JANE MAYER | JULY 1, 2013 | The New Yorker

      When President Obama unveiled his program to tackle climate change last month, he deliberately sidestepped Congress as a hopeless bastion of obstruction, relying completely on changes that could be imposed by regulatory agencies. A two-year study by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, released today, illustrates what might be one of the reasons why he had to take this circuitous route. FOSSIL FUEL MAGNATES CHARLES AND DAVID KOCH HAVE, THROUGH AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY, A CONSERVATIVE GROUP THEY BACK, SUCCEEDED IN PERSUADING MANY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SIGN A LITTLE-KNOWN PLEDGE IN WHICH THEY HAVE PROMISED TO VOTE AGAINST LEGISLATION RELATING TO CLIMATE CHANGE UNLESS IT IS ACCOMPANIED BY AN EQUIVALENT AMOUNT OF TAX CUTS. SINCE MOST SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM OF GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS REQUIRE COSTS TO THE POLLUTERS AND THE PUBLIC, THE PLEDGE ESSENTIALLY COMMITS THOSE WHO SIGN TO IT TO VOTE AGAINST NEARLY ANY MEANINGFUL BILL REGARDING GLOBAL WARNING, AND ACTS AS YET ANOTHER ROADBLOCK TO ACTION.

      The investigative study tracks the political influence wielded by the billionaire Koch brothers, who have harnessed part of the fortune generated by their company, Koch Industries, the second largest private corporation in the country, to further their conservative libertarian activism. Charles Lewis, the Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop explained that the I.R.W., a non-profit news organization attached to American University, spent two years focussing on Koch Industries because, “There is no other corporation in the U.S. today, in my view, that is as unabashedly, bare-knuckle aggressive across the board about its own self-interest, in the political process, in the nonprofit-policy-advocacy realm, even increasingly in academia and the broader public marketplace of ideas.” Formerly head of the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, Lewis has focussed for years on the way money affects American politics. “The Kochs’ influence, without a doubt, is growing,” he believes. A spokeswoman for the Kochs declined to comment.

      In its multi-part report, “The Koch Club,” written by Lewis, Eric Holmberg, Alexia Campbell, and Lydia Beyoud, THE WORKSHOP FOUND THAT BETWEEN 2007 AND 2011 THE KOCHS DONATED $41.2 MILLION TO NINETY TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS PROMOTING THE ULTRA-LIBERTARIAN POLICIES THAT THE BROTHERS FAVOR—POLICIES THAT ARE OFTEN HIGHLY ADVANTAGEOUS TO THEIR CORPORATE INTERESTS. IN ADDITION, DURING THIS SAME PERIOD THEY GAVE $30.5 MILLION TO TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-ONE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, OFTEN TO FUND ACADEMIC PROGRAMS ADVOCATING THEIR WORLDVIEW. Among the positions embraced by the Kochs are fewer government regulations on business, lower taxes, and skepticism about the causes and impact of climate change.

      CLIMATE-CHANGE POLICY DIRECTLY AFFECTS KOCH INDUSTRIES’S BOTTOM LINE. KOCH INDUSTRIES, ACCORDING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY STATISTICS CITED IN THE STUDY, IS A MAJOR SOURCE OF CARBON-DIOXIDE EMISSIONS, THE KIND OF POLLUTION THAT MOST SCIENTISTS BELIEVE CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING. IN 2011, ACCORDING TO THE E.P.A.’S GREENHOUSE-GAS-REPORTING DATABASE, THE COMPANY, WHICH HAS OIL REFINERIES IN THREE STATES, EMITTED OVER TWENTY-FOUR MILLION TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE, AS MUCH AS IS TYPICALLY EMITTED BY FIVE MILLION CARS.

      Starting in 2008, a year after the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency could regulate greenhouse gasses as a form of pollution, accelerating possible Congressional action on climate change, the Koch-funded nonprofit group, Americans for Prosperity, devised the “No Climate Tax” pledge. It has been, according to the study, a component of a remarkably successful campaign to prevent lawmakers from addressing climate change. Two successive efforts to control greenhouse-gas emissions by implementing cap-and-trade energy bills died in the Senate, the latter of which was specifically targeted by A.F.P.’s pledge. BY NOW, FOUR HUNDRED AND ELEVEN CURRENT OFFICE HOLDERS NATIONWIDE HAVE SIGNED THE PLEDGE. SIGNATORIES INCLUDE THE ENTIRE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, A THIRD OF THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AS A WHOLE, AND A QUARTER OF U.S. SENATORS.

      THE 2010 MID-TERM ELECTIONS WERE A HIGH WATERMARK FOR THE PLEDGE. THE KOCHS, LIKE MANY OTHER CONSERVATIVE BENEFACTORS, GAVE GENEROUSLY TO EFFORTS TO HELP SHIFT THE MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM DEMOCRATIC TO REPUBLICAN. KOCH INDUSTRIES’S POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE SPENT $1.3 MILLION ON CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGNS THAT YEAR. WHEN REPUBLICANS DID TAKE CONTROL OF THE HOUSE, A HUGE BLOCK OF CLIMATE-CHANGE OPPONENTS WAS EMPOWERED. FULLY ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SIX MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THAT YEAR HAD SIGNED THE “NO CLIMATE TAX PLEDGE.” OF THE EIGHTY-FIVE FRESHMEN REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN ELECTED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN 2010, SEVENTY-SIX HAD SIGNED THE NO CLIMATE TAX PLEDGE. FIFTY-SEVEN OF THOSE RECEIVED CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM KOCH INDUSTRIES’S POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE. THE STUDY NOTES THAT MORE THAN HALF OF THE HOUSE MEMBERS WHO SIGNED THE PLEDGE IN THE 112TH CONGRESS MADE STATEMENTS DOUBTING CLIMATE-CHANGE SCIENCE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE IS OVERWHELMING SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS ON THE SUBJECT.

      THE STUDY RECOUNTS THAT THE KOCHS HAVE INFLUENCED THE CONGRESSIONAL CLIMATE-CHANGE DEBATE IN OTHER WAYS, TOO, WHICH INCLUDE FUNDING AN ARRAY OF NONPROFIT GROUPS WHOSE EXPERTS HAVE TESTIFIED IN CONGRESS QUESTIONING THE CAUSE, THE SEVERITY, AND THE NECESSITY OF, ACTING ON CLIMATE CHANGE. SINCE 2007, “SENIOR STAFF AT MORE THAN A DOZEN KOCH-FUNDED NONPROFIT GROUPS HAVE MADE FREQUENT TRIPS TO TESTIFY ON CAPITOL HILL IN FAVOR OF DEREGULATION,” OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY SECTOR, THE STUDY SAYS.

      THE NO CLIMATE TAX PLEDGE HAS MADE INROADS AT THE STATE LEVEL, AS WELL. IN JUST THE THREE STATES OF MISSOURI, MICHIGAN, AND KANSAS, WHERE KOCH INDUSTRIES HAS ITS HEADQUARTERS, FORTY-EIGHT OFFICE HOLDERS HAVE NOW SIGNED THE PLEDGE. NATIONWIDE, IT HAS PENETRATED EVEN THE MOST LOCAL LEVELS. SIGNATORIES NOW INCLUDE THE OKLAHOMA SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, THE IDAHO TREASURER, AND THREE JUSTICES OF THE PEACE IN ARKANSAS.

      Lewis concludes that “One of the overarching themes from what we have found is that,” when it comes to blocking action on climate change, “things obviously go better with Koch!”

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

    • List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming

      This is a list of notable scientists who have made statements that conflict with the mainstream scientific understanding of global warming as summarized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and endorsed by other scientific bodies.

      Establishing the mainstream scientific assessment, climate scientists agree that the global average surface temperature has risen over the last century. The scientific consensus and scientific opinion on climate change were summarized in the 2001 Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The main conclusions on global warming were as follows:

      1. The global average surface temperature has risen 0.6 ± 0.2 °C since the late 19th century, and 0.17 °C per decade in the last 30 years.[3]
      2. "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities", in particular emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.[4]
      3. If greenhouse gas emissions continue the warming will also continue, with temperatures projected to increase by 1.4 °C to 5.8 °C between 1990 and 2100.[A] Accompanying this temperature increase will be increases in some types of extreme weather and a projected sea level rise.[5] The balance of impacts of global warming become significantly negative at larger values of warming.[6]

      These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized nations.[7]

      Go to Wikipedia to get the list... Cromie is in the footnotes. At least one other professor from Harvard is listed.

    • RISE IN VIOLENCE 'LINKED TO CLIMATE CHANGE'

      Rebecca Morelle | BBC World Service | Aug 1, 2013

      SHIFTS IN CLIMATE ARE STRONGLY LINKED TO INCREASES IN VIOLENCE AROUND THE WORLD, A STUDY SUGGESTS.

      US scientists found that even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders, as well as group conflicts and war.

      The team says with the current projected levels of climate change, the world is likely to become a more violent place.

      The study is published in Science.

      Marshall Burke, from the University of California, Berkeley, said: "This is a relationship we observe across time and across all major continents around the world. The relationship we find between these climate variables and conflict outcomes are often very large."

      The researchers looked at 60 studies from around the world, with data spanning hundreds of years.

      They report a "substantial" correlation between climate and conflict.

      Their examples include an increase in domestic violence in India during recent droughts, and a spike in assaults, rapes and murders during heat waves in the US [also possibly the Civil War within the GOP].

      The report also suggests rising temperatures correlated with larger conflicts, including ethnic clashes in Europe and civil wars in Africa.

      Biological root?

      Mr Burke said: "We want to be careful, you don't want to attribute any single event to climate in particular, but there are some really interesting results."

      The researchers say they are now trying to understand why this causal relationship exists.

      "The literature offers a couple of different hints," explained Mr Burke.

      "One of the main mechanisms that seems to be at play is changes in economic conditions. We know that climate affects economic conditions around the world, particularly agrarian parts of the world. and there is lots of evidence that changes in economic conditions affect people's decisions about whether or not to join a rebellion, for example."

      But he said there could also be a physiological basis, because some studies suggest that heat causes people to be prone to aggression.

      "It is a major priority for future research to distinguish between what is going on in each particular situation."

      The scientists say that with the current projected levels of climate change the world is likely to become a more violent place.

      They estimate that a 2C rise in global temperature could see personal crimes increase by about 15%, and group conflicts rise by more than 50% in some regions.

      However, other researchers have questioned whether climate breeds conflict.

      Work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggested that this environmental factor was not to blame for civil war in Africa.

      Instead, the conflict was more highly correlated with other factors, such as high infant mortality, proximity to international borders and high local population density.

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

    • A REPUBLICAN CASE FOR CLIMATE ACTION

      WILLIAM D. RUCKELSHAUS, LEE M. THOMAS, WILLIAM K. REILLY and CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN

      Aug. 1, 2013 | NY Times

      EACH OF US TOOK TURNS OVER THE PAST 43 YEARS RUNNING THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. WE SERVED REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS, BUT WE HAVE A MESSAGE THAT TRANSCENDS POLITICAL AFFILIATION: THE UNITED STATES MUST MOVE NOW ON SUBSTANTIVE STEPS TO CURB CLIMATE CHANGE, AT HOME AND INTERNATIONALLY.
      THERE IS NO LONGER ANY CREDIBLE SCIENTIFIC DEBATE ABOUT THE BASIC FACTS: OUR WORLD CONTINUES TO WARM, WITH THE LAST DECADE THE HOTTEST IN MODERN RECORDS, AND THE DEEP OCEAN WARMING FASTER THAN THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE. SEA LEVEL IS RISING. ARCTIC SEA ICE IS MELTING YEARS FASTER THAN PROJECTED.
      THE COSTS OF INACTION ARE UNDENIABLE. THE LINES OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE GROW ONLY STRONGER AND MORE NUMEROUS. AND THE WINDOW OF TIME REMAINING TO ACT IS GROWING SMALLER: DELAY COULD MEAN THAT WARMING BECOMES “LOCKED IN.”

      A market-based approach, like a carbon tax, would be the best path to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, but that is unachievable in the current political gridlock in Washington. Dealing with this political reality, President Obama’s June climate action plan lays out achievable actions that would deliver real progress. He will use his executive powers to require reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the nation’s power plants and spur increased investment in clean energy technology, which is inarguably the path we must follow to ensure a strong economy along with a livable climate.

      The president also plans to use his regulatory power to limit the powerful warming chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons and encourage the United States to join with other nations to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase out these chemicals. The landmark international treaty, which took effect in 1989, already has been hugely successful in solving the ozone problem.
      Rather than argue against his proposals, our leaders in Congress should endorse them and start the overdue debate about what bigger steps are needed and how to achieve them — domestically and internationally.

      As administrators of the E.P.A under Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, we held fast to common-sense conservative principles — protecting the health of the American people, working with the best technology available and trusting in the innovation of American business and in the market to find the best solutions for the least cost.

      That approach helped us tackle major environmental challenges to our nation and the world: the pollution of our rivers, dramatized when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire in 1969; the hole in the ozone layer; and the devastation wrought by acid rain.

      The solutions we supported worked, although more must be done. Our rivers no longer burn, and their health continues to improve. The United States led the world when nations came together to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. Acid rain diminishes each year, thanks to a pioneering, market-based emissions-trading system adopted under the first President Bush in 1990. And despite critics’ warnings, our economy has continued to grow.
      Climate change puts all our progress and our successes at risk. If we could articulate one framework for successful governance, perhaps it should be this: When confronted by a problem, deal with it. Look at the facts, cut through the extraneous, devise a workable solution and get it done.

      We can have both a strong economy and a livable climate. All parties know that we need both. The rest of the discussion is either detail, which we can resolve, or purposeful delay, which we should not tolerate.

      Mr. Obama’s plan is just a start. More will be required. But we must continue efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet. The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon. What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

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